By: Amie Sheridan
NASCAR Raceview Mobile provides real-time GPS-based 3-D race coverage, upcoming race information, 3-D track tours, race results, driver profiles, stats and schedules. On non-race days, this app is nothing to write home about. But during live races, it is mind-blowing. Tune-in information for the next scheduled race is the most prominent piece of information upon launch. A section titled This Week offers 3-D self or guided tours of the current track — this week featured Daytona Int’l Speedway. Post-race recaps, including the top 10 finishers, top 10 gainers and individual driver scorecards, are located within a Last Week section. Schedules and driver profiles round out the basic offering. A subscription fee of $4.99 per month or $39.99 per season unlocks the app’s live premium features: real-time GPS-based 3-D car and track virtualization, a real-time leaderboard, real-time driver telemetry data, live driver audio, live NASCAR officials audio and live broadcast radio. These features are free to Sprint customers using Sprint devices with unlimited data plans. NASCAR Raceview Mobile was developed jointly by NASCAR Digital Media and Sportvision. I conducted this week’s review on an iPhone 5 version 7.0.4, with AT&T service.
VICTORY LAP: I thought that watching the live, 3-D GPS-based virtual race during Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited exhibition was awesome. Then I tapped on the Driver Audio icon and could not believe my ears. It was like I was wearing a scanner in the bleachers at Daytona, able to hear the drivers communicating with their spotters throughout the entire race. As Danica Patrick attempted to avoid a wreck before being hit by her boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., I could hear her spotter coaching her through it. I also heard other drivers joking about the unfortunate mishap. This gave a behind-the-scenes feel to the experience. The viewing screen could be manipulated with pinch-and-zoom technology. This was particularly useful during wrecks and pit stops for zooming out to see the activity going on in the field. The real time leaderboard and driver information were equally impressive, showing rank, time off leader, steering angle and speed for each driver.
CAUTION FLAG: My primary criticism here is that the home screen menu is not as clear as it could be. Titling the sections This Week and Last Week really does not do the offering justice. I might suggest Track View and Recent Results. One feature needs attention: the Official NASCAR Audio. This feature did not work during my time with the app, despite several attempts. Social media feeds were nowhere to be found and were not missed, but adding an interactive Twitter feed would bring the app some more attention from tech-savvy fans. Lastly, there is a news feed within the schedule section that serves no purpose. The stories are not legible on the small iPhone screen, and there is no way to read the full text.
BOTTOM LINE: NASCAR Raceview Mobile is, hands down, a must-download for watching live NASCAR races. I cannot imagine watching another race without the app — mostly for the live driver audio. The subscription cost of $4.99 per month is a steal for this product. Other live race features like the real-time leaderboard were also impressive and engaging. The app’s basic menu could use more thought and the addition of social feeds should be explored, but it is clear that live races are the main attraction. Slick and compelling, NASCAR delivers a quality, return-worthy experience with this app.